For my end of first year assessment, I set up my provided space as if it was an abandoned museum. It is very similar to what I did at CSN in some ways, but this time I had more space and could decorate the space with a layer of dirt and dust to give it that abandoned feeling. I also had a velvet and mahogany display case, again dusty, that really helped bring out the museum feel, and I typed and printed little information plaques to go with each piece. Like a lot of my work, the museum is set in the world in which the Tweedles live, and the plaques reflect this. I hope you enjoy browsing through my photos and thanks for reading!
Chris Burden has produced some of the most shocking works in the history of twentieth century American art, including spending five days and nights in the fetal position inside a locker, having a spectator push pins into his body, being “crucified” to a Volkswagen Beetle, being kicked down two flights of stairs, and even having himself shot.
The challenge for viewers is to try to understand such troubling and seemingly “inartistic” gestures. Such an understanding is made possible by seeing these works within the context of Conceptual art during the 1970s, where artists concerned themselves with art based on ideas and action rather than objects created for an elite art market. Additionally, the violent images of the war in Vietnam and the television media in general provided a background setting for Burden. His work further challenges viewers to take stock of their own moral compasses and widen their understanding of the ways in which it is possible for art to serve humanity.
A performance artist whose works provoke and question the rules and limits we give to each other and the human body. He shook up the traditional ideas of art while also addressing social and political issues.
One of his most famous and contraversial works is ‘Shoot’ (1971), where he asked his friend to shoot him with a .22 rifle.
An Irish artist raised in France currently working in Paris, who creates mechanical kinetic artworks that evoke the feelings and atmosphere of certain aspects of war, the military and of other socio-political issues related to that.
His kinetic works are somewhat theatrical, encompassing all the senses, and he uses found materials that are fairly ordinary and familiar to us to connect us.
Was looking at the works of Austrian art group Gelitin recently.
Gelitin is comprised of four artists.
They met first in 1978 when they all attended a summer camp.
Since then they are playing and working together.
1993 they began exhibiting internationally.
They make sculptural works and art pieces using either people or themselves (such as in the case of the ‘Human Elevator’, ‘Blind Sculpture’ or ‘Gedichte von einem Freund’), or sculptures of body parts (such as in ‘Die Wachauer Nase’ and ‘Rehabilitated Sculptures’).
“Be curious, and try to make sense of what you see. We live in a universe governed by rational laws that we can discover and understand.“
– Stephen Hawking
Just wishing everyone the best in the Happy New Year!😀
From now on I will probably use this blog as more of a blog to write some of my thoughts and ideas now, as I will post my actual artwork on my newer professional site: danielforrestsmith.wordpress.com.
Just a quick post! College is around the corner and I am preparing myself for Second year!! Very exciting!
I thought today I’d post these photos from my old PLC sketchbook. I meant to post them a while ago.
By posting them here, I can reflect on my old sketchbook in comparison to my new one, and see how I’ve improved and what has changed over the years, and what I’ve kept in my work.
I have a great holiday in England recently. My family and I went to Blackpool, and went up the Blackpool tower and into their ‘dungeon’ experience underneath the tower. The family went to Liverpool for the day, where we walked around and explored.
I visited the Tate Liverpool, and went into the Jackson Pollock exhibition.I got to the museum late in the day, and it was starting to close. I was on my way out of the museum, along with another man, when I discovered that the doors had been locked!! I was lucky to have my phone on me, and had to get my someone to tell the security guards to get us out. Apparently we were the first people to be locked in the Tate Liverpool in about ten years! I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or consider that an achievement! At least I got to spend a bit of extra time with Jackson Pollock paintings, and even an Andy Warhol print!
Anyhow, I thought today I’d post the photos that I took on holiday in England at a zoo (I can’t remember the name of the zoo unfortunately):
And here are my personal favourites… behold a two headed giraffe!!! :)
Chiaroscuro “is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. It is also a technical term used by artists and art historians for the use of contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures.” – Wikipedia
I thought I’d begin this post with a quote from Wikipedia. My recent Tweedle paintings have taken a darker turn, and I thought I might elaborate on them today. A few years ago I came up with the Tweedles without really knowing what to do with them. They were a creation without a purpose. I have given them rules, emotions, a mind, a soul… each of them even has its own backstory, and the story of Tweedles as a species (which I am still writing. Maybe I should try making a graphic novel rather than writing a book…) exists entirely in my head at the moment, awaiting it’s manifestation onto canvas, text, video and music. But even so, I still had no idea where I was going with my Tweedles… They were my creations, but they had no purpose. No reason to exist in my artwork. And then I realised that they were my creations. They were what humans are to a god. They were artificial life of a sort, and I began to explore that.
In my fictional world, Tweedles are created with artifical brains, mixing organic matter with analog and digital technology in nano scale. Because of the way they are made, they think, but differently to us. They feel, but do not understand how to express their emotions (especially with a stitched on mouth that holds their head cloth in place). They can sense the world around them, but cannot truly touch it. Tweedles don’t instinctively have free-will, and need to learn how to be free. Their existence is a confusing one once they can actually develop enough to stop and think about it. Their creators are not omnipresent. They are not omnibenevolent. They create Tweedles for reasons more linked to power and greed, and they create the Tweedles for reasons that are not entirely good but in fact selfish in some ways. Tweedles are made to be servants and slaves. The eventual development of true emotion and free will is just a side-effect of their construction.
I thought about how that would relate to what it’s like to be human. To live and die without knowing why. What your purpose is, if you have one. A lot of people live lives dedicated to a god or supreme being, but without ever questioning whether their creator is really omnibenevolent at all. The amount of suffering in this world seems unjust. Perhaps there is an evil, possibly sadistic being that enjoys messing around with humanity for entertainment? I was thinking about these deep philosophical and theological concepts and questions, and then suddenly the Tweedles had purpose after all. They were a vehicle for this philosophical exploration into life, death, morality, the creators and the created… through painting my recent Tweedle pictures, I am confronting some of my strongest fears in regards my spirituality, humanity and existence. I wouldn’t really call myself a spiritual person, but if there is a god, how do I know they are good? If he told me that he was, could I really trust them? And in regards free will, I assume that it exists because I think I can make decisions. But do I really have free will? When we look closely, living cells are made up of lots of dead matter and elements that are having a chemical reaction with each other to make the next part have a reaction and so on. Theoretically our entire bodies are a prolonged chemical reaction, so does that mean that we are even alive, or is humanity (and by extension all life) a strange and complicated quirk of chemistry that never was ‘alive’ in the way we believe we are?
Tweedles are made up of a few bio-engineered and grown brain cells linked into mechanisms and machines which allow them to move their bodies, repair it, respond to stimuli and even potentially build more Tweedles… but by our current definitions of life they are not alive because they are not composed entirely of cells. Are they alive or not?
Is this Tweedle really dead or can it be repaired and brought back? Was it ever actually alive, and were we as humans ever truly alive?
By using heavy, dark backgrounds in the paintings (a greenish-black colour) I could help express the gravity of these questions and the weight the answers would have on us if we ever knew them. I wanted to highlight the Tweedles in bright colour to emphasize that they are surrounded by darkness. The specific Tweedle that is the subject through my recent series of paintings walks its entire life treading through the unknown. And then, without realizing how or why, it dies.
No-one will ever truly know exactly what when on in our mind; we can only guess. Sometimes you may meet someone so like minded that you think you know what they’re thinking, and they can seem to read your mind, but in the end we can only hazard estimates and guesses as to the thoughts of other human beings. Eventually all our thoughts, our personalities, our very selves will disappear, as they are only made up of memories, and will eventually fade into darkness…
…and whether there is a light after that darkness will forever be completely unknown to us until we actually experience it.
“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone.” – Orson Welles
I took some clearer more accurate photos of the Tweedle Paintings in good sunlight. Please click below for the full image.
For a while, I’ve been working on creating a soundtrack for my artwork. I’ve heard of people composing soundtracks for films and even books, but can’t find much about composing for artwork. Yesterday, I finally finished my first soundtrack.
The Tweedle OST is an album consisting of a series of soundscapes, that are supposed to guide your imagination through the world of the Tweedles through the medium of sound.
I’ve created a Playlist of all my new songs, which you can now see on my youtube channel or via the link below.
My personal favourites from the OST are “03 – Hunted”, “06 – Stealing the Flagship Jabberwock” and “09 – Among Fallen Tweedles”.
Which song is your favourite?